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July 1994

Immunohistochemistry of Port-wine Stains and Normal Skin With Endothelium-Specific Antibodies PAL-E, Anti—ICAM-1, Anti—ELAM-1, and Anti—Factor VIIIrAg

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Special and Environmental Dermatology, Department of Dermatology, University of Vienna (Austria) Medical School.

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(7):879-883. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690070073011

Background and Design:  Immunohistochemical analysis using four monoclonal antibodies specific for endothelium was performed to evaluate the possible role the endothelium may play in the pathogenesis of port-wine stains. In 11 patients with port-wine stains, biopsy specimens were obtained from involved and normal skin. On frozen tissue sections, we studied and compared the distribution and staining pattern of PAL-E, anti—intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), anti—endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecule-1 (ELAM-1), and anti—factor VIIIrAg (FVIIIrAg), all recognizing specific epitopes of vascular endothelial cells.

Results:  The PAL-E, anti-FVIIIrAg, and anti—ICAM-1 antibodies showed a similar distribution and staining pattern. The intensity of staining was equally strong with PAL-E and FVIIIrAg, while the expression of ICAM-1 was moderate. The ELAM-1 antibody exhibited only a weak expression in about 70% of evaluated specimens. No substantial differences in the intensity and distribution pattern of expression of these proteins could be demonstrated between normal skin and port-wine stains.

Conclusion:  Our findings suggest that the abnormal vessel pathologic findings in port-wine stains are not due to defects associated with the endothelium. According to PAL-E antibody staining properties, port-wine stain vessels could be classified as capillaries and/or postcapillary venules and small veins.(Arch Dermatol. 1994;130:879-883)